25 Reasons to Skip Christmas Gifts This Year

Need a good excuse to opt out of the annual spend-a-thon? Here are a few dozen, plus change.
Vice Xmas HOZ Daniel Zender rectangle
Illustration by Daniel Zender

There are lots of reasons for holiday cheer, but finding gifts for people you care about can be a serious drag. It’s not that you don’t love—or at least like—them. It’s the stress of figuring out how much to spend, what they really want, and when to squeeze in shopping time, what with everything else you’ve got going on this time of year.

With nearly half of the 1,000 people 18 and older surveyed by Bankrate in October saying they feel pressured to spend more money on holiday gifts than they’re comfortable with, it might be time to consider not buying gifts this year at all. Really.


“Here we are, in the midst of what is supposedly the most joyous time of year: the holiday season. And yet, for most of us, it’s also the most stressful time of year,” Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus write on their blog at The Minimalists. “At some point Santa Claus turned corporate, and the holiday season metamorphosed into the holiday shopping season.”

If you’ve long fantasized about the no-gift option but worried it might make you look like a Scrooge, here are 25 reasons you can use to boycott gift giving this year—either selectively or collectively—brought to you by the FREE staff. And remember, just because you don’t give a material gift, that doesn’t mean you can’t give something else, like your time or a shared experience.

All the Reasons Not to Buy Christmas Gifts

1. Everything will go on sale on Dec. 26 anyway so why bother?

2. Student loans.

3. They’ll probably just regift it anyway.

4. Your current checking account balance is $45.90.

5. That pained look on their face when they try to act excited about your present but obviously hate it.

6. Online shipping fees.

7. They didn’t get you one last year.

8. You have terrible taste in everything.

9. Getting someone you’re dating a gift could signal you’re serious about them when you’re not.

10. You’re already paying a small fortune to fly home for the holidays.

11. Another Starbucks gift card? Seriously?

12. No matter what you bought, it’s too small, too big, the wrong color/size/style or whatever.


13. Nobody actually likes your homemade eggnog.

14. Your entire life savings is—err, was—in bitcoin.

15. That awkward moment when you realize you bought them a gift but they didn’t get you one.

16. You’re Jewish or Muslim or any other religion that doesn’t celebrate Xmas.

17. You refuse to support the gift industrial complex.

18. The amount of time you’d spend trying to figure out what to get them is 10x more than the amount of time you will actually spend with them over the holidays.

19. You’re too hungover from holiday parties to make responsible purchasing decisions right now.

20. You’ve decided to join the minimalist movement.

21. You just don’t feel like it.

22. You’re still paying off your credit card bill from your summer vacation.

23. Buyer’s remorse.

24. Then you have to wrap everything too.

25. Santa will take care of it.

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